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Madame Speaker's Misuse of the Bible and Some Other Interesting Links

Links.jpgYou gotta love church bureaucrats.  The more they talk, the less they say.  You'd think that the LCMS bigwigs would seek to put an end to the controversy by finally explaining why they canceled "Issues, Etc."  Instead, they keep trying to obfuscate, and are clearly doing the "CYA dance."  Scroll down to read the last few posts from M. Z. Hemingway.  Unbelievable.  Click here: Augsburg1530

Speaker Pelosi not only presides over a Congress which gets lower approval ratings than our very unpopular President, but she keeps citing a Bible verse to justify her environmental views.  Somebody finally decided to look up the verse.  Surprise, surprise, it doesn't exist.  Not even close.  Nice try Madame Speaker.  Click here: Biblical Scholars Challenge Pelosi's 'Scripture' Quote -- 04/23/2008

Yet another noted Evangelical leader is ashamed to pray in Jesus' name.  Jesus is, after all, the only mediator between God and Man.  What makes this refusal to pray in Jesus' name so egregious, is that this particular prayer was published by the National Day of Prayer Task Force.  Click here: National Day of Prayer Task Force | Stories | 2008 Prayer for the Nation.
A Mormon Apostle is to be disinterred so that he can be re-buried next to four of his twelve wives.  I wonder if the other eight are relieved or angry (as they remain barefoot and pregnant in the Mormon after life). 

Reader Comments (18)

Surprised to read that about Ravi.
BTW posting from the PCRT in Philly - sure that won't be a problem here! Time to go and get fed.
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPB
I think your attack on Ravi is unwarranted. I pray to God and use the term Lord to refer to Jesus. Are my prayers not valid? Are they unscriptural? Are they a compromise? Is Jesus not Lord? I think you are way off the mark here. Ravi has spoken to many nonChristian groups about Jesus. He doesn't deserve to be attacked.
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl
Re Cheryl's comment, what is it with the idea of public figures speaking publicly getting treated by private rules? Zacharias is a public figure. Protecting public figures seems like the triumph of the doctrine of privatization.

Anyway, I can't decide which is more egregious, the notion of a National Day of Prayer or that it requires a Task Force. Plain vanilla prayers serving its purpose seem to make sense though. What would be egregious is a Presbyterian doing this, not an Evangelical. Zacharias is just being a good Evangelical.
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
I'm puzzled. We're the ones with bishops in our legislature, but you'd never catch our parliamentarians quoting the Bible to strong-arm a vote. Heck, you'd be lucky to find more than a few who believe the Bible, bishops included.

But in the States, home of the separation of church and state, your Speaker quotes the Bible (and even makes up Bible verse) with impunity. What gives?
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Walker
Perhaps Len Sweet has "ministered" to Nancy P.

From his free online book, Quantum Spirituality:

"In the modern era worship was demystified and denatured. Postmoderns are driven by desire to explore and celebrate an ever-deepening intimacy with the Great Mystery that is the universe. Liturgies of the earth--fire, land, wind, and water--can restore the biological and physical rhythms of the planet to our computer-programmed consciousness. Outdoor earth rituals can also provide worshipers with experiences of connectedness to all earthlings: What the Sioux Indians call the creeping people, the standing people, the flying people, and the swimming people. All earthlings must be incorporated into the body of Christ in more ways than just through the “blessing of the animals.” We must find ritual ways to make earthlings’ presence felt, their partic ipation solicited, their voices heard, if the ideal of ecological worship is to be realized."
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg
Dodgers apologist Tommy Lasorda always uses this Bible quote: "God helps those who help themselves."

Have any of you ladies and gentlemen ever heard great lines that you wish were in the Bible? I have a couple:

When I was a kid, my favorite actor was always "dirty Harry." Here are a couple great quotes from "dirty Harry." "He's a legend in his own mind." Here is one that is very practical, that I always try to remember. "A man has got to know his limitations."

Have you ever sat at a traffic light, and the car in front of you just sit's there with the light green? I always ask them, "any particular shade of green?"

Have a great day all!!!!
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLLOYD
I attended a local National Day of Prayer event a couple of years ago. The "service" consisted largely of music that, if it was worshipful at all, was worship of country and not God. The couple of minutes of actual prayer was limited to thanksgiving and petitions for blessing. Strange thing... none of the local ministers who prayed felt it necessary to confess our sinfulness; but then again, with so many of them having unilaterally abolished the wrath of God or at least having relegated it to the dust-covered doctrinal statement that props up their desk leg (you know, the one that prohibits the consumption of alcohol as a beverage and firmly identifies the only acceptable rapture view, but fails to mention justification), the resulting perception of our relative sinlessness in this day and age has made confession rather passé.

At least everyone (else) seemed to feel blessed. Mission accomplished!
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg
Ravi did nothing unbiblical. It's quite obvious that those who think so have a problem with him. He clearly knows that Jesus is Lord and the only moderator because us and God the Father.
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFred
sorry, between us and God the Father.
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFred
"Dodgers apologist Tommy Lasorda always uses this Bible quote: "God helps those who help themselves."

Funny thing is I heard this saying used in a commercial for a "weight loss ministry"advertised on a local radio station. I suppose it was aimed for those who help themselves too much.
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTW
But, Fred, you just showed us how words matter. And isn't doing something "unbiblical" adequate grounds for "having a problem with him"? Besides, aren't those who are protecting Zacharias here just relying on a sort of soft tyranny that both grandfathers certain figures into acceptability and shuts up any critique out of hand as idle quibbling? And if it's idle quibbling, why join in?
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
Maybe Pelosi was misremembering 1 Cor. 6:9 in The Message:

"Don't you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don't care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don't qualify as citizens in God's kingdom."
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterScott
ZRIM, both you and Cheryl are perfectly free to express yourself, as is Kim in his blog. I think what Cheryl is doing is fine. All by herself she is not shutting down any critique. Maybe like me, she is reacting to a criticism of a respected teacher. I will give Ravi a bit of a break based on his body of work over years and years. Having said that, Z, it is good to point out our need to name the name of Jesus when we can. It is His name that gets everyone upset. As a pastor, and I don't mean this in a chippy way, no one tells me what to say in my pulpit, at a public event, or funeral, or wherever. And I always use the name Jesus Christ. I am with you there, but I am with Cheryl in hoping people don't think Ravi has left the fold.

April 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDSY

Why give him a break instead of saying that (presuming his work was otherwise sound) what is now being done is inconsistent with that previous sound work? Again, I think the "give him a break" approach is just another version of under-confessionalism, at least for those who really do care about what the best of a rigorous confessionalism can yield. Sometimes a shot across the bow at popular Evangelicals helps tease out real confessionalist presuppositions as opposed to those who may want to simply maximize the Big Top.

Also, I am not so sure that critique translates so easily into the presumption of "having left the fold." Who said that? Besides, was Zacharias once a Presbyterian? To my knowledge, he's always been outside the Presbyterian fold as an Evangelical. But if you mean that to have "left the fold" to be some sort of comment on someone's eternal status (which I gather the reaction to the criticism may be), we Reformed have the categories of in/visible church firmly enough in place not to presume to peer into that which no man is allowed, contra Evamgelicals who seem quick to make such judgments.

April 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
Dr. Riddlebarger Zrim and all,

I have posted on praying in Jesus' name here if you are interested. I do not think that we are conscience bound to end our prayers with "in Jesus' name." Nor do I think we need to get all bent out of shape for his "generic" prayer.
April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSteven Carr

I read your post and decided to respond here, only because my machine is being temperamental about your blog(!).

You made the point that we ought not judge another's motives. I think that is quite agreed. The point here is to examine another's words. That is all anyone may do. The context, which is civil religion, seems to really be the point here. A generic prayer seems to confirm the broader desire to simply join in a neutered and innocuous form of cultural religion.
April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZrim
The National Day of Prayer bothers me. Believers join in prayer with heretics and many unbelieving Americans, and this I cannot do.

As for the prayer, I don't think it's a wise prayer to give in such a context; it does seem like an an attempt to get all types of Americans praying together. Maybe they want some politicians to join in, so the universal appeal will help. Will the prayer be used for some gathering?

And I do question the wisdom of Ravi; he was a speaker at the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City with other "Christians" some time ago. Many Mormons came out happy with what they heard; it's hard to believe that a faithful proclamation of the gospel would leave a Mormon feeling good, especially Mormom leaders. He is a smart man, but he sure has some significant problems. Why was he invited to a Ligonier National Conference?
April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto
ZRIM, points well taken. My comment about having "left the fold" said way more than I intended. I meant leaving the fold of solid, faithful Bible people like you and me! All the same, I do listen to and benefit by listening to Ravi on my iPod. And thanks to you, I will listen with an even more careful ear, something I know he would welcome.

April 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDSY

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